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Former Washington Journalist
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Despite fierce criticism from Donald Trump and others that the multinational 3M is not doing enough to produce critical medical supplies like N95 respirators, that’s the furthest thing from the truth, according to the corporate giant’s CEO, Mike Roman.
3M has come under fire for not providing enough gear, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), to US medical providers, while selling those supplies freely overseas.
There have been more than 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The virus has killed more than 58,000.
In the United States, there have been 311,637 reported cases, including 8,454 deaths, according to the most recent figures.
Governors and mayors across the country have been reporting being short of needed medical supplies in the battle against the pandemic, particularly recently in the region in and around New York.
“Let me start with this, you know, the narrative that we are not doing everything to maximize respirators in our own country is false. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I’m happy to talk about that,” Roman said during an appearance on the Fox Business Network. “The idea, the other idea that 3M is not doing all it can to fight price gouging, unauthorized reselling is absurd. We are doing everything we can to fight COVID-19 and support the health care workers here at home. But it’s just, it — and, you know, up until yesterday we had been really proud of all the things we were doing and hearing from every direction save a few negative narratives. But the narratives out there, they’re just not true.”
Further, slamming the Maplewood, Minn.-based 3M for making equipment available overseas doesn’t comprehend the global nature of the pandemic, Roman said.
“Well, it’s been a focus of the Defense Production Act, I would say that we’ve been telling the administration for days and days, and it’s important to understand that, we’re happy to shift our overseas production to the U.S.,” he said, referring to a Korean War-era law which Trump has invoked to give him power over the US private sector. “We’re already a net importer. But there are consequences, as you highlighted.
“We are often the sole provider for health care workers in many cubs, and — in many countries, and that was the way we built out this capability, to be able to support them,” Roman added. “There will be consequences. They will not have access to products, and they’re in the middle of the fight too.”
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